Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Next Best 20 Minutes Of Your Life.

I'm not real big on fiction these days, Terry Pratchett notwithstanding, and with a pile of books steadily growing, sometimes it can be difficult getting enthused about things.

My immediate reading matter is The Forsaken: An American Tragedy In Stalin's Russia. It is heartrending, and has reduced me to tears several times, and I'm still only 2/3 of the way through.

For those who think that communism, or any other sort of collectivism is a Good Thing, this is a good place to start your re-education.

Those with a bit of power or authority start exercising that because they know better than you, then that bit sort of gets bigger and bigger.

It can be seen here in a small way every day on my drive home.

I drive on the Eastlink, a toll road that is between 3 and 4 lanes across, and is beautiful to drive on.

The speed limit is 100, but a few too many years of draconian speeding laws and fines have left the driving public often a bit too timid to actually reach that level, and most days I am lucky if I get to 95.

I'll stop now, as that rant is for another day, and I leave you with the 1812 Overture.

I grew up exposed to a broad range of music, including both country and western, and this was an especial favourite.


I did find the complete video on what looks to be the Russian version of youtube, but I don't read Russian and couldn't find any way to embed this.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Bring On The Republic.

Over here in Oz, we don't pay a whole lot of attention to the ongoing machinations of the EU. There's enough happening here and in the Middle East without adding Europe to the mix.

That is, of course, a generalisation, but one that might need addressing.

I regularly read His Grace, the (formerly corporeal) Archbishop Cranmer. While I'm not anglican, Church of England or anything recognisable as a christian denomination (sort of lapsed catholic/baptist/becoming evangelical mongrel), he is an excellent source of news in Britain.

He noted on Dec 1, 2009 how the Lisbon Treaty came into effect, and one of its effects is to subjugate British Law to European Law.

What does that do for the Commonwealth? I've always been more than happy to be a part of our constitutional monarchy. With the Queen as our head of state allowing us a free rein in general, rubber-stamping even the most idiotic decisions by the parliament of the day, we still manage to keep a few checks and balances in there.

This includes Quentin Bryce and her junketing around Africa.

Where does our legal system fit in with EU law? As a member of a Commonwealth presided over by a Queen who is now presided over by the President in Brussels, does that make me subject to the EU?

I'm sure Rob Hulls would say yes, to which my response would be to tell him to stick it in his ear.

Not that he'd pay any attention as his agenda is more important than my thoughts. He's still got his Charter of Rights to push.

I've never been a fan of Prince Charles, I must confess, but I still never saw the need for an Australian republic.

Now, though, I'm seeing things rather more differently.

Can I have a republic, please?